Evil Avatar  



Go Back   Evil Avatar > Daily Gaming News > In-House Content

» Sponsored Links


» Recent Threads
Kung flu
Last post by Terran
Today 07:36 PM
737 Replies, 22,435 Views
The Last of Us Part II...
Last post by SpectralThundr
Today 06:06 PM
13 Replies, 657 Views
Liberals gone wild
Last post by Eats
Today 05:33 PM
6,304 Replies, 1,416,602 Views
Picts - Waiting to...
Last post by brandonjclark
Today 10:56 AM
19,139 Replies, 4,133,882 Views
Recommend - CCW
Last post by VenomUSMC
Today 08:56 AM
126 Replies, 83,645 Views
There Are 28 Different...
Last post by blackzc
Today 08:29 AM
5 Replies, 218 Views
Weekend Headbanger -...
Last post by BeardedSonOfNel
Today 06:25 AM
4 Replies, 279 Views
Weekend Gamer: What are...
Last post by ascl
Today 03:38 AM
6 Replies, 354 Views
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-22-2020, 04:47 PM   #1
Evil Avatar
Citizen Game
 
Evil Avatar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 36,271
Blog Entries: 20
The Evil Avatar Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Review

Title: Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Platform: PS4,Xbox One
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: CyberConnect2
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

The Same Old Story

To say that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a little bit similar to the previous Xenoverse titles would be a very large understatement, as Kakarot hits the exact same notes in many ways. However, that’s not to say Kakarot is a lazy, cash-grab, and it does present a new spin on the, admittedly tired, and seemingly endless retelling of the series’ various sagas we’ve seen of late. The question is, does it succeed?



Boasting an identical visual, and presentation style to Xenoverse, Kakarot will be very familiar to any fans of the previous DBZ games. Once again the game looks great, perfectly reproducing the anime in video game form, right down to the smallest details. Although Xenoverse was developed by Dimps, Kakarot is actually the work of a new developer, CyberConnect 2, although you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the same team. Perhaps most well known for the .hack series, and Asura’s Wrath, CyberConnect 2 clearly has the skills required to do DBZ justice audio and visually, but this presentation by no means makes it a good game.

I’ll start with the combat, which is the main focus of any DBZ game, even an RPG. Again, if you’re experienced with Xenoverse, the combat here will be instantly familiar. The controls are the same for the most part, and the flow of battle, which mainly takes place in mid-air, zooming around and landing combos and special moves, is also instantly recognisable. Once again you have a standard attack, a Ki blast, and a couple of selection menus for items, and the ever present super moves, such as Goku’s famous Kamehameha. As you progress, there are many more special moves to learn and use, each of which functions differently, and requires different timing and planning to execute them effectively.



Fights take place between one or multiple enemies, but the boss battles are where the game shines, as these are, as in the original anime, presented as the most epic fights of all time, and now make use of special boss attack sections that can turn the game into a bullet-hell shooter of sorts where you must avoid masses of projectiles or dodge out of the way of massing energy blasts. These transitions are well handled, and don’t damage the flow of the fight, they simply serve to provide added challenge other than button-mashing combat, and elevate the major fights, and the bosses above the rest.

The story of Kakarot is, as you probably guessed, yet another re-treading of the DBZ saga, beginning with the Raditz and Vegeta sagas, and then proceeding through the various other, famous sagas, each with their villain of the piece, such as Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu. It’s a very long story, and there’s a ton of content in here for fans of DBZ, and this comes along with the new RPG, open world elements. As a conservative estimate, I’d say most users will easily get around 30-40 hours out of it.



Kakarot’s gameply involves a metric tonne of combat, but when you’re not fighting you’ll be taking in the world of DBZ and its many and varied locations. Split into several, fairly large open areas, throughout the story you’ll explore all sorts of locations, both on and off Earth. Each location is open and contains various things to do and see. There are Crackdown-style orbs to collect spread all over the place, a fishing mini game, the ability to build and race vehicles, and other collectibles like D Coins that can upgrade fighters, and items that are used in the main RPG mechianc – the Community system.

This is where the meat of Kakarot’s RPG element lies, and it uses various skill-tree style boards on which you place character tokens, which are obtained as you progress through the story. Each board deals with specific specialisations, such as fighting, training, cooking, and ‘Adult,’ and certain characters are more of a benefit on some boards than others.



Each token can be levelled up with exp and by giving them gifts, and they provide various skill and stat boosts, which increase as the community gets stronger. These then Augment Goku, and the other characters you can control, as well as the support characters you can call upon.

The Community system is simple on the face of it but can be quite deep too if you spend enough time with it. The problem is the grinding and the tedious nature of managing this feature. For what little boosts it can grant in the grand scheme of things, it’s a lot of busywork, and in my opinion, really doesn’t add a great deal. I’d much prefer an actual, expanded character levelling system tailored to each playable fighter instead.



The cooking system does add an element of this, and finding new recipes and cooking meals is very important, not just for temporary buffs, as this kind of feature is usually part of, but eating certain meals can actually permanently enhance stats, making it an essential game mechanic to indulge in.

Other than the Community and cooking elements, though, the rest of the RPG content is light, to say the least, and I couldn’t help but feel as though the RPG elements were just quickly slapped on to turn what was a simple fighter into a (very) light RPG.



This simplicity extends to the open worlds, which look nice at a distance, and do recreate the anime well, but each is just so devoid of any content. Sure, there are occasional NPCs and other points dotted around, especially in urban areas, but the end result is a very shallow, and pretty lifeless world, certainly not what we’ve come to expect from open world RPGs. The Witcher, this is not.

Another missed opportunity is the lack of playable characters. Partly due to the method of storytelling here, the actual selection of playable characters is small, and dictated by your current place in the DBZ timeline, as the story switches up the player character as it goes. Most other characters are relegated to support only, controlled by AI. Given the massive roster of previous titles, this is a shame, and definitely worth noting, even though it doesn’t affect the game too much, due to the narrative-focus.



If there’s a major issue with Kakarot aside from the lacklustre RPG elements, it’s the repetition. There’s so much tedium contained in Kakarot, be it the grinding to level up so you can beat the next boss fight, finding materials for cooking, collecting endless orbs, or just fighting the samey rank and file enemies over and over again whilst roaming the open world, the whole thing quickly becomes so tired. Even major battles, as good as they can be, don’t really deviate too much, and if you strip out the special moves, the combat system is woefully simple and dull, with no real variety in normal moves and combos to master.

Side quests are also painfully boring and repetitive, meaning you won’t so much feel like you’re taking part in a gigantic fighting saga, but instead doing painful chores to be rewarded with very little.

Still, the sheer amount of story content here, and superb presentation makes this a no brainer for fans of DBZ, or those who have always wondered what the fuss was about. In short bursts is a fun fighter with a unique combat system and impressive, over the top battles filled with neon lasers, impossibly spikey hair, and some truly iconic characters. If you’re not a fan of DBZ, though, there’s just not enough game here to satisfy or convert you, and you’d be best spending your hard-earned elsewhere. As an RPG? Nah. Stick to the combat in future.

Score: 3.5 out of 5



The Good
  • Spot on visuals
  • Some great boss fights
  • Long story
The Bad
  • Weak RPG elements
  • Empty open worlds
  • limited playable characters
The Ugly
  • Can be soooo tedious
Evil Avatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2020, 07:48 AM   #2
BeardedSonOfNel
Chaotic Neutral
 
BeardedSonOfNel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MN/WI
Posts: 6,336
Blog Entries: 8
GREAT review!
__________________
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. Goethe
BeardedSonOfNel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dragon ball z: kakarot

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:52 PM.